AkzoNobel expanded capacity at its industrial coatings site Songjiang near Shanghai in China, the Dutch paints, coatings and chemicals company announced on Wednesday. With the expansion, AkzoNobel hopes to meet increasing demand from construction and consumer markets. It recently doubled annual production capacity and created the world's largest plant of AkzoNobel for packaging coatings. The plant also houses AkzoNobel's largest research and development center in China. The Songjiang site started in 2012 with an investment of 14 million euros (19.2 million U.S. dollars) in production lines for packaging coatings and epoxy and polyester resins. The factory now has nearly 300 employees. "China remains one of our most important growth markets," said Conrad Keijzer, member of AkzoNobel's executive committee responsible for performance coatings, in a press release. AkzoNobel currently employs more than 7,400 people in China, including 500 in research and development. It also has work ongoing at sites for powder coatings and decorative paints in Chengdu. In addition, a new regional office for western China is being inaugurated in Chengdu this week.